THE news that WB has agreed to finance the Diamer-Bhasha Dam (Aug 21) must have elated the energy-starved country men that now there is a glimmer of hope that the perennial energy shortage would be addressed to some extent.
The news, however, contained a caveat that the approval of the WB depended on the NOC from India. Seeing the periodic estranged relations we have with our neighbour, it is unlikely that this NOC would be forthcoming anytime soon.
Some of us might be thinking why the hell we need permission from India to build this dam in our own country.
The reason, if I correctly understand, is that Galgit-Baltistan where the dam is located is treated by India as a part of Kashmir, hence a disputed territory and, therefore, needs India’s permission.
What a tragedy, we have not been able to solve the Kashmir dispute in 66 years in spite at least three wars, including Kargil, and our spending billions and billions of rupees in connection with or on account of the dispute.
And now we cannot even build a dam which we badly need for our economy, having already wasted no small amount on the abortive Kalbagh Dam.
In passing, may I add with due respect that didn’t we realise that the Hindu Raja who had purchased Kashmir from the Britishers like a plot of land would naturally opt for India, despite overwhelming Muslim population in the whole of Kashmir, and Mr Radcliff will be too willing to oblige India by again mischievously giving Gurdaspur to india to let them have the only access route to Kashmir.
Couldn't we raise a strong protest to give Kashmir a special status because the of overwhelming Muslim majority and specially because our economy depended on the rivers that flow rom Kashmir.
The havoc these rivers are now playing in Pakistan perhaps could also be minimised by better control of these rivers, if we had a say.
S. M. ANWAR Karachi